by Robert Herrick

HOW dull and dead are books that cannot show
A prince of Pembroke, and that Pembroke you !
You who are high born, and a lord no less
Free by your fate than fortune's mightiness
Who hug our poems, honour'd sir, and then
The paper gild and laureate the pen.
Nor suffer you the poets to sit cold,
But warm their wits and turn their lines to gold.
Others there be who righteously will swear
Those smooth-paced numbers amble everywhere,
And these brave measures go a stately trot ;
Love those like these, regard, reward them not.
But you, my lord, are one whose hand along
Goes with your mouth or does outrun your tongue ;
Paying before you praise, and, cockering wit,
Give both the gold and garland unto it.

Cockering, pampering.

Copy after Van Dyck. Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke. c.1635-40.
Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke.
Copy after Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

* “A favourite of James I, Pembroke was,
   with his brother William, the 3rd Earl,
   one of the 'incomparable pair of brethren'
   to whom the First Folio of Shakespeare's
   plays is dedicated (1623). He was a patron
   of Van Dyck, and he re-built Wilton House
   in Wiltshire.” —National Portrait Gallery.

Herrick, Robert. Works of Robert Herrick. vol I.
Alfred Pollard, ed.
London, Lawrence & Bullen, 1891. 177.

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